Black Lives Matter: U.S. Flag is 'Racist'

On Independence Day the Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter located in Utah posted on social media that the “American flag is now a hate symbol.”

The post, which went viral of course, caused somewhat of an uproar. Some Americans found the post ridiculous while some came out in full-throated defense of it.

Yet, less than a week after issuing its infamous post about the American flag, BLM Utah is back at it again.

And this time, the BLM Utah chapter didn’t hold anything back as it doubled down on its anti-American flag propaganda.

The post begins, “Now I have started a huge controversy. The media now has a hold of it. The controversy stems from me calling the American flag a symbol of hate. I stand by my words.”

It continues, “If you see that every person that hates you is carrying an American flag how would you feel about that flag? If every message of hate that you receive comes from a person flying that flag, how would you feel when you see that flag. I feel fear. That is not up for debate. I feel like the person flying it is racist, because every racist that I have come in contact with is either wearing that flag or flying that flag. I feel as if I should avoid that person because they may be dangerous.”

One thing that immediately struck me is the emphasis on “I feel.” This person may feel these things to be true, but he or she lacks any evidence to prove that what he or she feels is tethered to any facts or reality.

Another thing that must be addressed is the sheer embellishment of that nonsensical rant. It is patently absurd to associate the American flag with racism. The American flag is the symbol for a nation that has bent over backward to ensure that all citizens have equal rights.

From 1861 to 1865, that flag was carried by hundreds of thousands of white (and black) soldiers who fought to end slavery in the bloodiest war this nation has ever participated in. What’s more, that glorious flag has become the archetype of freedom throughout the world over the past century or more.

The post concludes with this ludicrous line, “I came to tell you the truth and the truth is not always popular. When I see that flag, I see hate. We have never seen outrage from republicans when literal Nazis fly the flag, that must mean that they are ok with it, they must support it, they must like it. If you ignore the hate, do not ask me to because I won't. Do not use a symbol for hate and ask us not to see it as such. Our eyes are open even if yours are closed.”

Apart from the absurd idea that Republicans support the flag and thereby Nazism, I am even more struck with the narcissism on display here.

Just because this author has a vendetta against the American flag does not mean that any and all Americans who proudly wave it are evil racists. Just because the author chooses to see hate when the flag is flown does not make the United States a racist nation.

Those feelings are within the author, not within American society at large.

In fact, according to a 2021 YouGov/NBCLX poll, “About seven in 10 (72%) Americans say the American flag makes them feel proud.” What’s more, 59 percent of black Americans said the American flag makes them feel proud, too.

Furthermore, “When asked which terms they would use to describe people who display an American flag on their home or vehicle, the most common responses were patriotic (62%), proud (53%), and normal (38%). Far fewer chose the words obnoxious (10%), racist (7%), or ignorant (6%).”

Interestingly, according to the poll, the group of Americans that was least proud of the American flag are Americans under the age of 35 (56 percent). Thanks, public schools.

So, more than 70 percent of all Americans are proud of the flag. Almost 60 percent of black Americans are proud of the flag. And only 7 percent associate the flag with racism.

Put another way, 93 percent of Americans do not believe the American flag is racist. Perhaps the BLM Utah chapter should reconsider its stance on the American flag. For it seems that the vast majority of Americans, including blacks, think otherwise about the stars and stripes.

Chris Talgo (ctalgo@heartland.orgis senior editor at The Heartland Institute.

Image: National Archives

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